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Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Midwest, USA

Where To Stay In Downtown Chicago (Hint: There’s Free Drinks)

When my sister, Rhiannon, organised a student exchange from her university in Melbourne, Australia to Washington, DC, she wanted to come early to hang out with us in New York

But New York could wait. I told her “come to Chicago”.

We were on our #motherofallroadtrips across the United States and heading towards New York, but knew we just had to stop in Chicago again. So Rhiannon flew to Chicago to meet us and explore the Windy City together. 

That bit was easy, however when our favourite Airbnb apartment was already booked I started fretting.

In addition to our 4 family members, my 20-something sister was joining us and we had nowhere to stay. Fortunately Embassy Suites stepped in and suggested we try out their elite downtown Chicago hotel.

But would a hotel room fit all 5 of us? I was a bit nervous.

View from our room in Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown


Room, Room And More Room

For a centrally located hotel Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown is spacious. Most Embassy Suites properties have an atrium-style layout complete with waterfall, bridges, a large dining area and panoramic elevators. And despite being located steps from the Magnificent Mile, Chicago was no different with its 11-story atrium and blooming foliage.

But it didn’t stop with the common areas. All guest rooms feature a separate living area and sleeping area. When we walked into our one-bedroom suite we were startled with how much space there was. 2 double beds were located in the bedroom and a queen sofa bed in the living room. This set-up worked perfectly, as we shared the bedroom with the kids and Rhiannon got the living room. 

There was even a kitchenette with fridge and sink, plus a bunch of unexpected delicious goodies.

It turned to be the most spacious hotel room we’ve stayed in within a big city. And it wasn’t on the outskirts, rather in the heart of downtown Chicago.


…Then There’s The Free Stuff

I thought I’d won the jackpot with the spacious room, but that wasn’t all (I know, that sounds like a cheesy infomercial). One of the key features of Embassy Suites is their Cooked-to-Order Breakfast. A generous-sized buffet with meats, cheese, pastries, potatoes, pancakes, waffles and more met us each morning. Plus a chef cooked on-request omelettes, scrambles eggs and my favourite – fried eggs.

Our chef was a comedian and gave me a laugh. I love a chef with attitude!  But importantly, he knew how to turn around dishes fast. In fact, he looked like a videotape running at double-speed.

Ok, so breakfast is great. But why is everyone returning to the hotel between 5:30pm and 7:30pm? The Manager’s Reception. Every night you can find light snacks (mixed nuts, pretzels, chips, etc.) and FREE alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Yep, you read that right.

We attempted to be back every evening for our free cocktail after a full day of sightseeing. I was floored. Usually cocktail hour is reserved for exclusive club lounges. But here it’s for everyone.


Location, Location, Location

We were just steps from the famed Magnificent Mile, with restaurants right outside the door, and easy walking distance to the Red Line subway.

All those things add up to a great family experience and I can easily recommend Embassy Suites for your next vacation to Chicago.

Read other reviews of Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown here...

Front of Embassy Suits


Embassy Suites #PrettyGreat Family Travel Hacks

One of the reasons I was initially drawn to Embassy Suites in the first place was their #prettygreat family travel hacks.  Of course, at Travel With Bender we are always trying to provide the best family travel hacks so I like that Embassy is doing the same.

Some of my favourite travel hacks that I found on their website:

Check out all of them and then tell us your favourite family travel hack in the comments below.

Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Heather Cowper on
Looks like you all had a great time - I'm impressed by the amount of space you got - practically an apartment really
Posted by Jackie de Burca on
The space is impressive and also the breakfast. But of course the free drinks are an excellent touch. :)
Posted by anna parker on
The suites set up that so many American hotels is a great idea - sad not to see it more elsewhere. It is ideal for a work trip too, to spread out and be able to relax as well, but at a good price
Posted by Paul (@luxury__travel) on
Looks like you had a great base there, Erin - not only a good location, but also lots of space for the 5 of you - enjoy your time in New York next! :)
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